The winner of the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for June is...
Manager: Thomas Frank (Brentford)
Brentford manager Thomas Frank has been named the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month for June.
Not only did his side win all three June games in their customary style without conceding a goal, but they did so by beating Fulham and West Brom - two of the three teams who stood above them when the Championship resumed.
Frank said: “I am delighted to be named Manager of the Month, but this is not an award for me, it is an award for every member of staff and every player at Brentford.
“Throughout the lockdown period, and since we’ve been back at Jersey Road, everyone has been working so hard to get us into the best possible shape.
“This a reward for all that work with another, bigger, reward hopefully ahead in the coming weeks.”
Danny Wilson chairs the Sky Bet Manager of the Month judging panel.
He said: “In-form Wigan and manager Paul Cook were just pipped to this award by the great results of Thomas Frank and his Bees team.
“Brentford beat fellow promotion candidates Fulham and West Bromwich Albion, and then won away at Reading.
“Beating your nearest rivals is a great confidence booster at this important part of the season.”
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “It’s thanks to Thomas Frank’s incredible Brentford side that we’ve still got a fight for automatic promotion that is well and truly alive and kicking in the Sky Bet Championship.
“The Bees have been in sensational form since the restart and are chasing the leading duo, leaving no room for error during the run in.
“Frank’s team have showed improvement throughout the campaign and if they were to have to face a Play-Off campaign, there won’t be any team heading in with more confidence than Brentford.”
Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “Thomas Frank’s Brentford hit the ground running post lockdown, winning all five games and cutting a 10-point deficit to second to five points*, and an 8/1 chance to secure automatic promotion down to 3/1*.
“Brentford will be Sky Bet’s favourites to win the Play-Offs should they fail to finish in the top two and are 8/11 to be playing Premier League football in their new stadium next season (from 5/4 pre-lockdown).”
*Correct at time of release
Player: Jason Pearce (Charlton Athletic)
Charlton Athletic defender Jason Pearce has been named the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month for June.
As solid on the ground as he is in the air, the Charlton captain was the lynchpin of a defence which kept three clean sheets in as many games. He made an impact at the other end, too, bravely nodding home the winning goal at Hull.
Pearce said: “It’s pleasing to win any award so, on a personal note, I’m proud, but it’s all about the team.
“I wouldn’t have won that award if the team and my teammates weren’t all pulling in the same direction and putting in the performances that we have done.
“We just want to stay up and that’s the most important thing.”
Sky Sports’ EFL pundit Don Goodman said: “With such a tight fight for survival this season, small margins can make all of the difference.
“Returning from the lockdown with a steely determination that it wouldn’t be them to face the drop, Pearce and the rest of the defensive unit were resolute against everything that was thrown at them through June.
“But it was Pearce’s first goal of the season – after driving himself to Hull on the morning of the game so he could be with his pregnant wife overnight - that proved to be the most valuable to Lee Bowyer in delivering a massive three points and taking them out of the relegation zone that they’d only just dropped into in the final game before lockdown!!.”
Sky Bet EFL trader Ivor Davies said: “The Charlton captain played a crucial role in a defence that didn’t concede a goal in the first three games since the restart.
“Going into the restart, Charlton sat two points from safety and were priced as 4/6 to be relegated, but after picking up two wins and a draw their price for relegation drifted to 9/2. They currently sit in 21st place one point clear of Hull.”